A Fair Affair?

“Let’s have a fair affair, je t’aime my love, oh yeah” ~ Misty Oldland

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Affair (n): an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration

 

Ok, before I get going let’s make it clear that within this post I am using the word ‘affair’ to define an amorous relationship between two people when at least one of them is involved with somebody else. Yes, there are other definitions. But I’m not writing about them today.

I will also hold my hand up to not having always been whiter than white in some of my relationships. Therefore this post is not meant to be judgemental, mainly observational with a strong nudge towards thought and questioning at the end. If anyone does think I’m having a go then please leave a comment or drop me an email.

So, “a fair affair”. It’s an oxymoron. It isn’t possible to have a ‘fair’ affair. The very nature of an affair involves lying, deceit, actions that fly in the face of fairness.

Affairs did not start happening because of the internet. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, back in the Stone Age, one caveman probably snuck off from the hunt to visit someone else’s cave (possibly a euphemism). Through the ages, the importance of sexual fidelity has waxed and waned. Produce a legitimate heir, maybe a back-up one just in case then, so long as you’re discreet, off you go!

However it’s 2012. I don’t know how many of us are on the internet. Figures published today say that there are 10 million active users of Twitter in the UK, out of 140 million users worldwide (other social media sites are available) but it’s pretty clear that the escalation of the internet usage and social media have hugely increased the potential to have an illicit liaison or three.

Recently I thought two people I follow on Twitter were having an affair. One is single, the other married with children. I have subsequently found out I was wrong in part. The married one is having an affair, just not with who I thought, and is sending at times vile tweets about their domestic situation coupled with the cryptic, wistful “I wish you were here” style of tweets. Of course, it is none of my business but it makes me sad; sad they are so scathing about their partner and also sad that they are using Twitter as a means to fuel their flirtation.

I see a lot of those kind of tweets. I’m sure you do too. The half-veiled comments, the little in-jokes, the banter. Anyone who has ever worked in an office where two people are getting involved will have seen this time and time again. Now a bit of banter is fine. Healthy, probably. But there is a line. And when it slips over to emotionally engaging with a person when you are already attached I think that line is crossed. And as for the physical? However you dress it up, you are cheating on the person you profess to love. If you’re married then you’re likely cheating on the person you promised to “love, honour and obey”. That “with my body I thee worship” line? Yeah, think about it. Along with “forsaking all others”. It means no having it off with anyone else. Obviously other and alternative vows are used too but I’ve never been to any kind of marriage service that didn’t have fidelity as one of the central themes.

Now I have good cause to know affairs, emotional and physical, happen for all sorts of reasons; loneliness, emotional cruelty, neglect. Also because people are greedy, selfish, promiscuous, the list goes on. It’s another of my firmly held beliefs that ultimately they happen because people are either trying to fill a void or ignore a problem. Either way these actions hurt people. They hurt friends, they hurt family, they hurt loved ones, they hurt children. I also believe that acting in a lying and deceitful manner, especially if you think it’s justified, is incredibly damaging to the self.

I’ve linked to this before but it’s appropriate and well-written so here is a great post by @nosweetnothings. If you think you’re drifting into unsafe waters then have a read. If you think what you are doing is just a bit of fun then think how you would feel if you found your other half was engaging in such behaviour behind your back. And if you are deep into something then please have a look at your reasons. Chances are everyone in the situation deserves better.

I really am interested in your thoughts on this so please drop me a line or two in a comment box-shaped postcard. Thank you.

 

Princess

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Marriage; a life sentence?

“I’m getting married in the morning! Ding dong! 
The bells are gonna chime. Pull out the stopper! 
Let’s have a whopper! But get me to the church on time!” ~ My Fair Lady

Or, as defined by my dictionary…

Marriage: (n) the state or relationship of being husband and wife, the ceremony formalising this union

 

A good friend of mine is getting married soon. A lot of you reading this followed the hen do tweets.

Oh the shame…

Anyway, she has always wanted to get married and I’m very happy for her that she’s found the right guy to marry. Given that she’s had her ideal wedding planned in her head for about the last 25 years, I’m also more than a little amazed she hasn’t turned into a complete Bridezilla over the whole thing.

However, I just don’t get it. I have never wanted to get married. (Ok, slight amendment, I wanted to marry someone for a couple of months last year but we all know that went just a little bit wrong.) But, honestly, I’ve never whiled away hours daydreaming of the white dress, the perfect song, the happy ever after with Mr Right. Maybe the last, I just never married him! I am shockingly headstrong & independent and the idea of being shackled to someone for the rest of my life abhors me. Now please don’t all jump on me for this. I love marriage. I love happily married people. I don’t, generally, see other people’s marriages as them being shackled to each other, that’s just how it feels for me.

And I said generally in last sentence for a reason. I know at least two people who will read this that got married and are still married to someone they didn’t really want to marry. An ex of mine described his failed marriage as “we got married when we should have split up”. How? I mean, really, how? How do you end up getting married when you don’t want to? Yes, I’m cynic but I am a proper romantic one too. Marriage, shackles aside, is a dreamy state too. This is stating you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, forsaking all others, for better or worse, richer or poorer, etc etc. How in the name of heaven do you declare all that when you don’t want to?

My parents will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary this year. As a mate said to me recently “that’s two life sentences!”. Maybe so, but they’ve been two happy ones.

So marriage; is it just a life sentence? Thoughts, as always, on a comment box-shaped postcard.

 

Princess